Command Line Linux Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12.04 – Moving The Windows Buttons Back To The Right.

Those pesky windows buttons (maximise, minimise and close) default to the left of the menu bar after a new Ubuntu installations, and it’s been happening since 10.04. Most people, like myself, are stuck in our ways and just want them back where they belong. It’s pretty easy to do this, just open up a terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and copy in the following:

gconftool -s /apps/metacity/general/button_layout -t string menu:minimize,maximize,close

Once you hit enter, you should see the buttons return to their rightful place on the right, also in the right order.

27 replies on “Ubuntu 12.04 – Moving The Windows Buttons Back To The Right.”

The instruction above looks wrong–there are some repeat sections in it. This worked properly for me:
gconftool -s /apps/metacity/general/button_layout -t string menu:minimize,maximize,close

Ubuntu 12.04 no longer has gconf-editor and has moved to dconf for storing their registry info.

You can:
# sudo apt-get install gconf-editor

# gconf-editor

Then, change the key at this location in the tree menu:

To look like this:

This solution no longer works with any of my 12.04 installs. I did find dconf and dconf-tools though. If you apt-get both of these and then run dconf-tools you can find the button settings under the expanded menus at Here you can change ‘:close’ to ‘close:’.

The correct menu with dconf is org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences. Actually both methods work for making this change. Just remember to hit ENTER. I made the mistake of not hitting “enter” while in the field and thats why nothing changed. Without this your settings will save but never update.

Thank You! I’ve spent hours over the last month looking for this fix!!! Thank you! Thank you! I can now minimize my windows in peace.

I’m using gnome-panel on 12.04, and the following worked instantly from a terminal window – no need to sudo

gconftool -s /apps/metacity/general/button_layout -t string menu:minimize,maximize,close


For those using Ubuntu 13.04, you should be using dconf-editor (pre-installed), and look under:
From there, you can change button-layout to :minimize,maximize,close

I just switched from Windows to Ubuntu 12 and quite helpless with this issue!

Your solution worked. Many thanks!

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